Making your website accessible for visitors with disabilities can seem like an impossible mission. There is so much involved when you look at the overall picture but if you take it a step at a time you will soon work it out.
The hardest part is deciding where to start. Try not to achieve everything at once, break it all down into individual blocks, working out the problems and solutions as you go.
The layout for this site is a pretty common type of layout, a header, top level links on the left, secondary(lower priority) links on the right, the content in the middle and a footer. So, I will use my site as the example of how to make your site more accessible without spoiling things for visitors who do not require any of the accessibility features.
You may be wondering, if this site is accessibility friendly - why isn't there a validation logo. Well there is really only 1 major online accessibility validation service which is Bobby however, there are limitations to the online version (single page submission - 1 page per minute) so validating a site this big would take a good few hours. They have software you can purchase but unfortunately we don't have a huge budget for accessibility at this time. (anyone who wishes to donate a copy is more than welcome to :)
Automated validation tools (such as bobby) only make sure you are following guidelines that can be tested such as, have images got alt tags, do forms have accessibility tags applied etc. What it can't test for is readability, such as contrast between the text color and the background color etc. So getting a logo saying well done is only part of the process, many of the guidelines require manual confirmation.
Let's get started. Accessibility - a new way of thinking